Online gaming requires skill

Caden Harsh argues that esports are real sports due to the competition in them.

Purbalite staff

Caden Harsh argues that esports are real sports due to the competition in them.

Caden Harsh, Staff Writer

For generations, sports fans have followed physical sports such as football, basketball, and baseball. But recently, there has been a rise in a different type of sports for fans to follow: esports.

Esports are competitions. They are tournament-style matches of sports video games like soccer and football, along with multiplayer battle royale games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

These competitions are different than traditional sports events. The most obvious difference is the lack of physical skill required. 

But is there skill involved with esports, and do they qualify as “sports”? 

The answer: Of course.

Whereas actual sports require physical endurance or strength, esports still require a similar knowledge of the sport. Players also need hand-eye coordination, something that esports players and an NFL wide receiver have in common. 

Also, esports are much more inclusive than traditional sports. There is no height requirement or weight limit to play esports, whereas short people who like a sport such as basketball often find themselves on the sidelines. 

Yet another factor is that esports competitors win prize money like athletes in golf and tennis tournaments. In esports, large tournaments are held where contestants win cash rewards. Kyle Giersdoro won $3 million winning the Fortnite World Cup. 

The ultimate determination of what is a sport, however, will be made by fans. 

YouTube already had a large user base due in part to the number of YouTubers who played video games for people to watch. It’s only natural that the number of viewers would increase with worldwide video game championships.

In 2016, Madison Square Garden was sold out for a gaming competition, which means it drew more fans than some traditional sports events. 

Since they require hand-eye coordination and hours of practice, feature tournaments that provide cash prizes to the winners, and draw thousands of people who are willing to watch these competitions in person and online, esports definitely should be considered a sport.